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1890’s Log Cabin Remodel Update: One year later

1890’s Log Cabin Remodel Update: One year later

An apt post for National Home Improvement Month (May)- the 1890’s log cabin homeowners in Logan have seen some exciting progress on their long term addition + remodel project. It was a year ago that we provided the design and drawings for this project and our last blog update was in July 2017. Outside, the entire home has gotten a standing seam metal roof, the second story addition has been clad with siding, and the polycarbonate has been installed on the entry roof/awning. Inside, the addition has been thoroughly sealed & insulated, dry-walled, and the natural wood ceilings are installed. Interior & exterior painting, trim carpentry, as well as flooring installation are next on the plate. The homeowners report that they are very happy with the design we provided for this project.

 

This home was originally a log cabin built in the 1890’s that had seen numerous (poorly constructed) additions over the years. There was a small shed roof addition on the rear that was un-insulated and had asphalt shingles causing severe ice damming and damage to the roof & entryway. The upstairs space was seldom used because it was too small and poorly designed, plus the stairs were too steep, narrow, and dangerous. The addition design solved a number of problems for this home: 1) It fixed the ice damming issue, 2) It created more space to build safer stairs that meet code, 3) It created a more comfortable and spacious upstairs space that can serve as a guest room, and 4) It greatly improved the energy efficiency for the entire home.

The polycarbonate roof/awning over the rear entry has also been a huge improvement for the homeowners. Before, the owners would exit directly into the snow and rain. Now the entry is sheltered from the elements, but the polycabonate still allows natural light to enter the home through the glass door.

Looking from the addition area toward the remodeled second story area. We can’t wait to see how this space continues to transform from painting, trim carpentry, and flooring.

The addition now provides ample natural day lighting and views of the mountains. There will be built-in shelving on the wall to the right.

The homeowners report that over the winter, their entire home required less heating and the second story stayed warm with no heat source upstairs. There have been some warm days so far this spring and the upstairs is staying at a comfortable temperature. Before the remodel, the upstairs would quickly over heat on warm days. This demonstrates the efficiency value of a high performance building envelope.

As always, please be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on this remodel project as often post project updates and photos there that don’t make it to our blog. Thank you to the homeowners for your updates and kind words on our design!

Hawk Ridge Drone Video and Pics

Hawk Ridge Drone Video and Pics

Greenovision home featured in Inhabitat

Greenovision home featured in Inhabitat

The Crimson Bluffs Home has been featured on Inhabitat, “a website dedicated to green design, innovation, and the future of clean technology!” Honored to have our home design cataloged on this site among other cool, green projects.

Hawk Ridge Home December Pictures

Hawk Ridge Home December Pictures

Progress Report last month of 2017!

Hi everyone, we wanted to share some recent progress of the Hawk Ridge Home located in Pray, Montana. The wood ceilings and the interior painting are complete. The porcelain “weathered wood” floor planking is be laid by Brad Morgan of Morgan Tile.  It looks great!  The next touches will be window sills, slated wood walls, interior doors and associated trim, fixtures, cabinets, and weathered wood staircase.  Stay tuned as things typically speed up at this point as most of the “heavy lifting” is done. Josh’s finishing crew is working right along.  Thanks to all of the great subcontractors Josh has brought on board.  And everyone have a Merry Christmas!

 

Mountain Modern Homes Are Not Just for Uber Wealthy

Mountain Modern Homes Are Not Just for Uber Wealthy

Mountain Modern Home

Mountain Modern Homes are not just for the uber wealthy; they can be designed for you, too! Conventional homes often rely on costly interior decoration for aesthetic beauty (see this write up). At Greenovision, our Mountain Modern Home designs aim to focus the home on the beauty of the world around us rather than on material distraction, which can be unnecessarily expensive. Our home design strategies aim to simplify overall building complexity. We typically achieve this by combining simpler roof lines (i.e. fewer valleys, hips, intersections, dormers, etc) with overall simpler open floor plan and interiors (i.e. less complex and unnecessary trim, walls, and paint schemes). This absence of complication not only shifts the occupants’ focus to the ephemeral beauty of the outdoors, it also saves money on construction. Such savings can then be allocated into energy efficient infrastructure and sustainable materials that last longer, are more durable, and even look better. These savings are also what can make Mountain Modern Home design attainable to the average homeowner, not just the uber wealthy. The key ingredient to all of these benefits is quality, well-thought-out design.

What make Mountain Modern Homes beautiful, cool, sleek, efficient, and long lasting has everything to do with how they are designed. Quality design begins with investigating the specifics of site location, which then unveils material and color palettes that will help integrate the home into its surroundings. For example, a designer analyzes environmental textures, colors & light (colors rely on light), and angles & slopes, then fashions the home design to blend and/or contrast with these surrounding features. To see and read more on designing to your home location, please go here. You can see more on how the environment influences our design process here.

The location of a home drives our design process even further when we consider energy efficiency strategies that will be appropriate for such sites. Every environment has strengths and weaknesses that must be carefully considered so that our design fits the needs and limits of the home. To learn more about Greenovision’s energy efficiency strategies, please go here or read our blog posts here.

Mountain Modern Home

Take a close look at what some are considering a Mountain Modern Home and see if they fulfill some of the design considerations we have mentioned here; be critical. Mountain Modern Homes, as with any home style, should not just be a recycled style thrown down on any site. Conventional homes can often appear to have been designed, but after examining how the home feel and performs, it’s clear that the home was a replicated typology and lacked thorough design. To us, Mountain Modern Home design should be a well-thought-out endeavor that is not only beautiful in setting and interior, but considers an array of design details, technologies, and ideas! Investing in a new Mountain Modern Home that is designed for you and where you live is a great idea. And lastly, do you have to live in the mountains to have this style? No, its just a home typology, just like you don’t have to live in colonial times to have a colonial home.  Contact us and let’s get going on your design!

Mountain Modern Homes

Transparent Awning Over Sliding Door Built and Installed

Transparent Awning Over Sliding Door Built and Installed

Why Polycarbonate awnings make sense

All exterior doors and their thresholds should be protected by a roof.  In my early days of remodeling construction, I took apart numbers of exterior doorways due to water damage.  Whenever there is a penetration through an exterior wall that is at ground level, there will be moisture issues over time no mater how well the builder tried to seal the door during installation.  Typical roofs over glass doors cut off day lighting and views; not so with our polycarbonate awnings. Our custom designed transparent awnings not only protect the threshold from water damage, but also add UV protection to vulnerable interior finishes from harmful sun rays. Our awnings still let the sunlight in and look sleek and stylish. This awning, recently built and installed at the Hawk Ridge Home, is also an important component of the passive solar design.

Hawk Ridge Home exterior close to complete

Hawk Ridge Home exterior close to complete

Just a few images of how we are looking at the Hawk Ridge Home just before winter ramps up.  The status of the interior is that all plumbing, heating, and electrical are wired, routed, and hooked up. The drywall is up and being finished. We will get some images once things start to look like an interior!

The local mule deer seem to just love this area; can you spot the bucks?

With the installation of the polycarbonate garage doors, the garage and boat shed are now seeing passive solar heat gain and have ample natural day lighting, two energy efficiency strategies used in main part of the home. A garage shouldn’t have to be gloomy, cold, and boring!

 

Wattage!  Solar electric kicking out some juice!

 

Taking Cues From Our Landscape

Taking Cues From Our Landscape

Montana’s vast and numerable landscapes are a challenge for designers who strive for integrating their built forms into our environment.  It is an important design challenge that should be not just be considered, but practiced carefully, especially in times such as these when rapid housing growth with quick pick stylism is causing a deranged view of housing.

How we improve integration of our built forms into such a complex yet subtle landscape is a matter of understanding each building site and being realistic as to how our design either melds with the local environment or stands apart from it. Most of the time Greenovision designs to meld or integrate into the surrounding landscape.  Although there are acceptable times to contrast and stand apart from our surroundings and our neighbors, in general, we consider this a rather ostentatious design pattern.  As I said, it is ‘our’ environment which we all have to live with either in delight or dyspathy. It seems that most building designs have not even considered our environment at all and it is stylism that predominates in decision making.

So what are the key ingredients to melding our designs into the landscape?

Here are a few to consider:

Understanding the vast and complex scales of Montana’s land and sky.  Although not every site has the “Big Sky” phenomena, many do.  There are, however, narrow canyons, dense urban areas, and tightly wooded areas that require a whole different sets of design parameters to arrive at appropriate massing, building heights, and roof forms. But even in these settings there is always the potential to better ‘fit in’ through attention to local details in scales (heights, widths, lengths, and volumes) of not only buildings, but natural phenomena like trees, topography backdrop, or amount of sky overhead without simply picking a ‘house style’ from a catalog.

 

 

Seeing Montana’s color and texture pallet as it is. Montana has arrays of color and texture pallets which can vary from dark wooded areas to brilliant golden fields of wheat. Large swaths of wildflowers or snowfields, areas of river rock, sandstone outcrops, and limestone can all be color pallet cues for us to follow. Nevertheless, it is through examining our design against the real environment that we arrive at appropriate colors and textures.

Studying Montana’s topography. Natural ramps and features like ridges, buttes, aretes, synclines, anticlines, glens, and valleys are all possible informants to adjusting our roof forms and building volume massing.

Through studying and then designing around such natural cues, the home has a connected and grounded aesthetic to its location. This is far different than choosing a style, like bungalow, craftsman, colonial, ranch, contemporary, etc. Not only is it just and fair to each location, it’s by far a more fun and rewarding way to design because it frees up new design possibilities!

Logan Log Cabin Remodel update!

Logan Log Cabin Remodel update!

Just an update on our latest remodel design and its realities.  The homeowners and their two dogs are living in the home as it is being remodeled.  Keeping work and home life separate becomes somewhat difficult, but can be done.

In case you might be considering a remodel of your own, this is where you begin. Without design and drawings, you most likely won’t get to progress to the following below….  Once you begin the remodeling design and construction process, don’t get discouraged! Lots of hurdles are yet to come!

Then you progress to this….

This is a picture taken in the old stair way… you can see the old log cabin which origins are back in the late 1800’s.

The logs are still in good shape!

This is the new staircase to meet modern codes.

Some framing pics along the way of remodeling….

The dried in roof awaits a brand new standing seam roof!  

Time for the plumber and electrician to rough in their utilities. Then on to the insulation of all exterior wall and roof cavities.

 

 

Hawk Ridge Framing and Windows Update!

Hawk Ridge Framing and Windows Update!

The framers have reached a major milestone in the construction of Hawk Ridge Home… the roof is on and “dried in.”  The windows and exterior doors have been set, meaning this home is well on its way to becoming real shelter.  According to Soren, the framing subcontractor, the month of June and early July had some pretty wet afternoons with large build-ups of clouds down Paradise Valley, which quickly turned into crazy wind and downpour events. When Emily and I arrived on Monday to take these pictures, it was a hot hazy late morning more typical of July days in Paradise Valley.

To see a 360 slide show  click here

Here are photos and commentary of the exterior of the Hawk Ridge Home:

 

Several things to note about the Hawk Ridge Home and how it sits in the landscape: Notice how the surrounding landscape has series of ramps with longish linear features where woods meet fields, or cliff bands, buttes, mountain ridges or aretes in the backdrop. Our design’s massing came from these slight angles and ramps.  Unfortunately, so many of the homes in this area have little physical form relationships with this stunning backdrop.  To further compliment the surrounding environment, the finish materials will obviously much more subdued than the Tyvec building wrap that you are seeing in these pictures! Just as a reminder: here is a link to the original concept rendering for visualizing interior and exterior texture and colors.  Please choose the exterior renderings tab to see the Hawk Ridge exterior.

As a reminder, in the following image the gray foundation will be back-filled to create a berm against the north side of house.  This build up of earth will not only give the home physical ‘grounding,’ helping it’s form set into the land, but will also contain certain mechanical features such as a cistern to catch the roof-shed water runoff and a propane tank.

We were glad to be able to get out of the sun and take a look around inside.  A few notes on the interior pictures: It is very hard at this time to get a feel for the space as the interior walls have not been framed yet. Wisely, the framers are building the interior 2×4 walls that define the interior plane of the exterior walls before they build the rest of the interior partition walls. Right now the main space is wide open giving maximum space for chop saw cutting stations and staging.

Here are photos of the Interior of the Hawk Ridge Home: